Carol Rio

Carol Ann Rio

Sunday, February 20th, 1938 - Wednesday, March 24th, 2021
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Carol Ann (Wolf) Rio, departed for heaven on March 24, 2021, surrounded by the love of her family.

Carol was born February 20, 1938 in Chicago, IL, the firstborn of Charles and Helen (Sabas) Wolf, followed by her twin siblings Charles (“Chuck”) and Helen (“Dolly”), and later her sister Jacqueline (“Jackie”). She grew up on Campbell Avenue, in a two-flat filled with extended family, and raised her three siblings while her parents worked multiple jobs to support the family. She graduated from Tuley high school, and was a candy striper at St. Elizabeth’s hospital for a short time, before entering cosmetology training. In May 1958, she married her sweetheart, Ralph Rio, who she met when she was 18, when he returned from serving in Korea, and who lived in another two-flat across the street from her. Ralph’s parents Tony and Connie adored Carol, and Connie lovingly taught Carol to cook wonderful Italian meals. In 1959 she and Ralph welcomed their son John, and in 1963 their daughter Linda, both born at St. Elizabeth’s where Carol had volunteered. The family moved to the Jefferson Park neighborhood in 1968, where they lived for 45 years. Carol and Ralph made a home there for their family, and “Sunnyside” became a welcoming home for extended family (who dubbed it the “holiday house”), John and Linda’s friends, and annual fireworks displays for the whole neighborhood on the front lawn. They took annual trips to her family’s hometown of Ladd, Illinois, and also traveled to Wisconsin, Florida, Las Vegas, and took a few trips abroad, often joined by her life-long friend Helen.

Carol was a woman well ahead of her time. She worked her own way through cosmetology school and apprenticeships, and eventually went on to own and run two successful beauty salons, first in Jefferson Park and then her dream salon in Park Ridge. Very well recognized in the salon industry, she was President of both the Chicago and Illinois Cosmetology Associations, and was a leader in education and scholarship opportunities within her profession.

Even while working long hours and running a business, Carol’s primary focus and deep love was for her family. She was very involved in the lives of her children and grandchildren, and moved her parents to an apartment five blocks from her home to care for them. She was the embodiment of compassion and kindness, and helped many family members and friends through rough times. She gave the best hugs, made the best spaghetti and meatballs, and was the most supportive daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, and friend anyone could have. She also held a strong Catholic faith, which she practiced throughout her life, and had a deep sense of spirituality and connection to God. Long after she couldn’t remember anything else, she could recite a prayer or sing a hymn beautifully.

Despite the loss of her beloved Ralph in 2008, who affectionately referred to her as “Rabbit”, and a series of surgeries and bouts with cancer, Carol preserved and continued working into her 70s. After the onset of dementia, Carol lived at Alexian Village in Elk Grove Village, and then moved to St. Patrick’s Nursing Home and residence in Naperville, where she attended mass daily, and was lovingly cared for by skilled nurses and compassionate Carmelite nuns as her Alzheimer’s disease progressed.

Carol was preceded in death by her loving husband Ralph, her parents Charles (Bud”) and Helen, and her beloved sister Dolly. She is survived by her son John Anthony Rio, her daughter Linda Marie Rio (former spouse Lindsay), her grandchildren Katie Rosado, Kaelin, Ken and Lia Reichmann, her great-grandchildren Londyn and Ryder Rosado, her brother Chuck (Mille), her sister Jackie (Dalton), her brother-in-law Jim, and many nieces, nephews, and friends to whom she meant the world. She will be deeply missed and her family’s hearts ache for her loss, but her generosity and compassion lives on in all who knew her.

A small private service is being held, with plans for a larger memorial service this summer when it is safe. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, at
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Service Details

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, March 27th, 2021 |
    Saturday, March 27th, 2021
    Cumberland Chapels
    8300 W. Lawrence Ave.
    Norridge, IL 60706
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    All services are private.
  • Interment

    All Saints Cemetery
    700 N River Rd
    Des Plaines, IL 60016
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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CELIA Johnson

Posted at 01:11pm
I didn’t know Carol but I just read her memorial and what a remarkable women. May she Rest In Peace.
Sincerely, Celia

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